Student Org Spotlight: Prism

Friday, August 25th, 2017

The goal of this section of TechNews is to spread awareness about the aims and activities of the wide variety of student organizations on campus at Illinois Tech. Each week will spotlight a different organization, explain its overarching goals, and give details on upcoming events. This first week, the limelight is on Prism.

Prism is a student organization on campus whose goal is to support the LGBTQ+ community, and it is entirely inclusive to all students. In the words of Vice President Emma Kaufman, “we welcome anyone of any sexuality or gender. [...] And that includes no sexuality or no gender.” Events Coordinator Matthew Brangham explained simply, “anything on the spectrum,” and Public Relations Officer Ananya Bhattacharya added, “from any background.” They also explained that those who wanted to learn more about the LGBTQ+ community as a whole but did not identify as a part of that community were also welcome at all of their events as allies.

General body meetings for Prism occur from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Mondays, and attendees are welcome to come and go as they please. “We wanted to accommodate both of the night classes,” said Treasurer Erica Acton, “so people can come late or people can leave early.” Although a location is not set in stone for all meetings, historically Prism has met in the “secret room” in MTCC next to the post office, referred to as such because it is notoriously hard to find. Kaufman mentioned that the group hangs up a large rainbow flag in order to make it easier to locate them, to which Bhattacharya quipped, “so you’ll find a prism at the end of the rainbow instead of a pot of gold.” In response, Brangham said, “I think the prism would be at the beginning of the rainbow.” Bhattacharya agreed, saying, “we make the rainbow.”

Prism is planning on hosting a bowling social for bisexuality day on September 22, however the actual social may occur the day before due to the BOG not being open on Saturdays.

For pride week in October, an event is planned for every day. On Monday, October 9, Prism will host a button-making event in the Paul V. Galvin library on campus, even though class is not in session at that time due to fall break. Tuesday, October 10, will hold an informational presentation on the “+” in “LGBTQ+.” Although the executive board of Prism is not claiming to be an expert on the topic, they are excited to distribute what knowledge they do have, and would welcome anyone who wanted to share their story that isn’t being explained. On Wednesday, October 11, Prism will hold their popular “coming out stories” event, where students come to eat pizza and share stories about their experience coming out or just general LGBTQ+ experiences. Thursday, October 12 will be a movie night featuring the film “El Canto del Colibri,” a documentary exploring the relationship between two Latino immigrant fathers. There are still plans being drafted for Friday, October 13, but an event will certainly take place.

On Monday, October 16, Prism will hold a queer sex education event and hand out safe sex supplies, which will likely take place during their normal general body meeting time.

For asexuality awareness week on Monday, October 20 to Friday, October 26, Prism plans on hosting another movie night to screen a documentary, however specific plans have yet to be announced. For intersex awareness day on October 26th, Prism plans to paint some of the windows on the MTCC bridge. On world AIDS day on Friday, December 1, the group would like to host an event in conjunction with the student health and wellness center where students can get tested, however this is not official yet.

If you have any questions about Prism and its events, contact or find them on Facebook and HawLink. Prism is also on Instagram under the username prism.iit and encourages interested students to follow them, though they won't be following any students.

All in all, according to Kaufman, Prism is "a place to come talk to other people in the community." Or, in the words of Brangham, "a place to be understood."